AMERICA IN ICU
Johann Wagener 4-23-13
In 2008, Rick Shenkman, the Editor-in-Chief of the History News Network, published a book entitled Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. In it he demonstrated, among other things, that most Americans were: (1) ignorant about major international events, (2) knew little about how their own government runs and who runs it, (3) were nonetheless willing to accept government positions and policies even though a moderate amount of critical thought suggested they were bad for the country, and (4) were readily swayed by stereotyping, simplistic solutions, irrational fears and public relations babble.
Why Americans Are So Ignorant
The Americans that make the most noise are the one’s that get the attention.
The angry white guys who dominate the Republican Party in Congress represent all the angry white men in America who cannot accept what they’ve lost forever—namely the exclusive right to take all the best jobs, run everything, make all the decisions and, oh yes, keep everybody who doesn’t look, act and talk the way they do out of the good old boys club. Anger rules the day
The anger is fueled by the gun industry which makes an enormous profit from fear and paranoi
In the battle for reducing gun violence in America, Tom Diaz, author of The Last Gun: How Changes in the Gun Industry Are Killing Americans and What It Will Take to Stop It, points to the culture wars of white male gun owners and the firearms industry, which tends to stay lurking in the background, signing the checks.
This paranoia gone wild distracts Americans from what the real dangers to our country are;
Too many Americans are unaware of the extreme disparities that have been caused by the unregulated profit incentive of capitalism. Our winner-take-all system is flailing away at once-healthy parts of society, leaving them like withered limbs on a trembling body, even as the relative few who benefit promote the illusion of opportunity and prosperity for all. Concerned citizens armed with facts are not fooled. Instead, the more they learn the angrier they get. And as in revolutions of the past, discontent leads to change.How Capitalism is Dismembering America
The “sucking’ sound is your is your country dying;
Recent revelations of hidden money by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) have embarrassed governments, large and small, and exposed many rich businesses and individuals. They used places like Lichtenstein, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Switzerland and, of course, Cyprus. Those countries’ private banks wanted the money much as their governments wanted the revenue benefits of hidden money inflows. The rich around the world took advantage of those banks’ services to launder money with some illegality attached to it, to evade or avoid taxes, to hide business deals from government scrutiny, and so on.
Reasonable estimates, based on ICIJ and other reports, suggest that many trillions of dollars sit in such hidden money accounts. It follows that debates in most countries about rates of taxation are missing the point. Many among the rich long ago found ways to avoid taxes, whatever the rates. They just needed and used that one “loophole” in the tax law that allows them to hide their money (or “offshore” it) in either personal or corporate accounts or both. The Vampires among us